British Evangelist Treks Across United States Repenting for Slavery

by | Apr 30, 2004 | Charisma Archive

Traveling by faith on a skimpy budget, Geoff Sadler has been visiting U.S. cities and seaports that were once part of the slave trade.
The Liverpool, England, native begs African Americans to forgive his city’s role as the leading slave-ship port in the 18th century in hopes that genuine reconciliation will bring revival to his nation, theirs and Africa.


Sadler, 42, hatched the idea to repent for his hometown’s past sins in the fall of 2003 after researching Liverpool’s history of building slave ships as well as ships for the Confederate navy during the Civil War. “It shocked me,” he said.


Wealthy merchants also bankrolled slave-snatching expeditions to the west coast of Africa from 1740 to 1808. The ships unloaded their grieving human cargoes in Southern ports. John Newton, the reformed slave-ship captain who wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace,” sailed from Liverpool.


Sadler came to Christ at a Billy Graham crusade in Liverpool in 1984. He quit his job as a carpet installer and attended Roffey Place Bible School. He joined Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and worked in England, the former Soviet Union and the United States. While working for YWAM Slavic Ministries in Oregon in 2003, he sensed God calling him to apologize to black people.


“God started speaking to me about being involved in reaching out to African people both here and abroad, and also being involved in reconciliation and repentance issues concerning Liverpool’s involvement in the slave trade,” he said.


During a Sunday worship service in Albany, Ore., in November, he approached a black churchgoer saying: “This may sound weird but I’m from Liverpool, England, and we were heavily involved in the slave trade in the 1700s. I want to ask for forgiveness and will you pray with me.”


The man didn’t act surprised about Sadler’s offbeat plea and prayed with him. Several weeks later Sadler connected with black people on the street. Hesitant at first, he gained confidence that he was doing God’s will and won over skeptics with his self-effacing demeanor. Then the Holy Spirit prompted him, “Go to places where Liverpool ships docked.”


In January he landed on the East Coast sharing his vision one-on-one with hundreds of African Americans. He visited the site of the main slave market in Richmond, Va., where he prayed publicly and witnessed to passers-by. However, one man challenged, “Oh yeah, we forgive you, but where’s the money?” When Sadler pulled the last $5 bill from his wallet, the young man refused it, but showed him an article about reparations.


Watching Sadler praying by the Mississippi River in New Orleans, two black men questioned what he was doing. When he revealed his mission their eyes moistened. “We wish there were more people like you doing this,” they said.


In Annapolis, Md., he kneeled in a historic pub and restaurant, attracting the attention of kitchen workers. One of them accepted his forgiveness while another one said, “How are you going to make it up to us?”


In Atlanta Sadler spoke to street people loitering near a subway station. “I felt God moving in their hearts,” he said. “Some people became tearful. There was sadness in their eyes.”


Sadler addressed members of Messiah’s World Outreach, an independent African American charismatic church in Scottdale, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta. The congregation embraced his message and was impressed that someone would travel from England to repent for the sins of his forefathers.


“This gentleman is one of the few voices acknowledging that,” said the church’s pastor, Donn C. Thomas. “Rather than reopening wounds, it’s an opportunity to heal wounds that have never been closed. It’s an attempt by God to bring significant healing to the generation that is living today. Who knows, it could start a revival in reconciliation.”


Sadler will join a church in Georgia soon. In October he will participate in a YWAM initiative visiting former U.S. slave markets and ports. They will walk in shackles and chains as a symbolic sign of apology for the slave trade.


Sadler sees all of his efforts aimed ultimately at revival in Liverpool. “I feel this is the purpose God has prepared for me,” he said. “This is my calling now. I see reconciliation and repentance as a foundation for revival in the United States, Liverpool and Africa.”
Peter K. Johnson

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Why God is Laughing at Their World Domination Plans

Why God is Laughing at Their World Domination Plans

They will make the greatest bid for world domination in history. It is no longer just armies that threaten freedom—it is corporations and corrupt politicians. I believe that evil in all of its vile colors is even now rising to try to crush our freedom and our...

The Power of a Generational Vision for Your Family

The Power of a Generational Vision for Your Family

Have you noticed that no matter how good you’re doing, trouble always seems to come? Trouble is not an “if” in life. It’s a “when.” Trouble may come in finances, a diagnosis, a family problem or even a season of hardship. But understand this: there is more than one...

Why You Can Say With Confidence That ‘God Saved the Queen’

Why You Can Say With Confidence That ‘God Saved the Queen’

It’s strange being a British-born American. The recent death of Queen Elizabeth II was another reminder of how my British and my American self often see things from different perspectives. Now living in the UK, I made the pilgrimage to London last weekend to pay my...

Dr. Alveda King’s Urgent Message for Christians

Dr. Alveda King’s Urgent Message for Christians

On Sept. 1 President Joe Biden took the stage in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and called MAGA Americans a "threat to democracy." He emboldened Americans to join him in defending democracy against the millions of people who support President Donald Trump. After listening...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Don’t Deceive Yourself

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Don’t Deceive Yourself

People are deceived by pride, by sin, by evil people, by strong drink and by living in fear. If a person is teachable and adheres to the instructions found in the Bible, they will recognize any errors in their thinking and correct themselves. For the rest of this...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophetic Word: ‘I Saw the US Capitol Building Laid Like a Coffin’

I heard the Spirit of the Lord say, “Do not fear at this time where evil seems to prosper. I am bringing you to victory. There is a shaking of the foundations in America unlike you have ever...
8 Contrasts Between the Confessing and Compromising Church

8 Contrasts Between the Confessing and Compromising Church

During the days of Nazi Germany, there arose a Confessing church movement that rose against the German church movement, which became the religious arm of the Fascist Nazi Socialist movement. Of the 18,000 pastors in Germany during that time (from 1933 to 1945), less...

Will the New Set of Seven Years on the Jewish Calendar Be Our Last?

Will the New Set of Seven Years on the Jewish Calendar Be Our Last?

Note: This is the second of a two-part series. For part one, click here. Beginning at sunset on Sunday, Sept. 25, our Jewish friends (and increasingly many Christians) will begin a two-day celebration of Rosh Hashanah, their time for new beginnings or a "new year."...

Is America Preparing the Way for a One-World Ruler?

Is America Preparing the Way for a One-World Ruler?

The culmination of history is approaching. The end of the world may be at hand. Yet Jesus tells us we should not be alarmed. Why? Because we are engraved in the palms of His hands. Because we are carried in His arms. Because we are the apple of His eye. The time is...

Joyce Meyer: How You Can Make God’s Love Your Lifestyle

Joyce Meyer: How You Can Make God’s Love Your Lifestyle

I have made it a priority to study about love in the Word of God. Getting a revelation about how much God loves me and learning to receive His love has been life-changing for me. It’s been the key to being able to really enjoy my life because when I received God’s...

Pin It on Pinterest